RobertZ

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  1. Thanks for your responses. Leo does point out that committing to a decision has benefits and drawbacks. But, commitment itself may benefit a person. Let’s take my confession like “I’m not happy in my marriage.” Or conversely, “Suck it up buttercup. 8 years of a sexless marriage is not so bad if people care about you. You have financial benefits and you chose to remain.’ A person “confesses” their inadequacies and commits toward a way of life going forward. Does commitment require rigid moral stance and self-judgment? How do you commit to a decision without being moralistic? Do you enjoy your life?
  2. What are your feelings about acknowledging an area for improvement where a person has two minds on a topic? A confession to ‘improve’ can feel great but cause serious problems. For example in the video, the Next Evolution of Actualized Teaching, Leo acknowledges that some of his teachings may appear aggressive or arrogant. However, in reflecting on this point, Leo adds that he has never kissed any spiritual teacher’s ass. Is this an arrogant statement that some teachers get pleasure from extreme compliance? Leo concludes that arrogance kept him intellectually independently and maybe ‘it could not have been otherwise.’ I am curious about a confession like that—where a person acknowledges an area for improvement (or limits of a behaviour)—is that acknowledgment and intention to change helpful? I can think of areas in my life where I am morally conflicted. One state of mind says, ‘yes’ and another says, ‘no.’ I am concerned that even attrition (limited intention to change) where a person has conflicting minds on a topic requires rigid diligence. This question has been bugging me on and off since 2013.
  3. I wouldn’t mind doing what I did today and yesterday in ten years. I studied what I am very interested in at work, I had deep conversations about religion, morality, and health with family members around a bon fire (with a cigar), ate good food, exercised, and had time with my wife and kids. I hope I can develop all those things in ten years—like more sophisticated work, better intimacy with my family, further conversations around the bon fire, and so on. I’ll pass on cancer, but I don’t think cigars cause cancer.
  4. I think I will take another crack at the always elusive “life balance”. Lol.
  5. First, I would draw a bit of a distinction between sport and art. Combat sports tend to focus more on competition than many martial arts do. I would say that many martial arts—especially traditional martial and military arts—have a much greater focus on both the “art” and on lethal techniques than sports have. Of course, there is a lot of crossover between the categories. Some martial arts lend themselves better to competition than others. For example, Some martial arts concentrate on weapons like knife fighting and chain whips—and how competitive can a person really get with chain whips or even rubber daggers?—and other arts focus on a high quality of life life into old age, to greatly enhance practices like seated meditation, for example. With your question about combat sports, I pick up on the aspect of competition more than aspects like the ability to kill people, defend one’s self in a dangerous situation, or improve health and cognition (of course, combat sports can have those elements). Competition can be quite satisfying and meaningful for many people. Many people find competition to be an interesting thing to spend their time and lives on. “Keep it real.” Competitive sports can be a path of mastery, and a context to form profound relationships with diverse people. Competition can also develop a person’s psychology, and contextualize their efforts or skill (or lack of efforts or skill) in other areas of life. For example—a job might feel hard, but a fight applies a level of intensity that can then transfer over to areas of life—like applying much more intense efforts and consistency in financial order or cleanliness. Competition can also transfer over to other areas of life in dysfunctional ways. Competition can externally validate superiority—and this validation can positively boost a person’s positive self esteem or increase their cruelty toward others.
  6. Parents have some influence on a person’s decision to take a university course, such as offering financial incentives to study. Of course, a parent can make an offer like, “If you study, you can live at my house for free—and otherwise do what you want (e.g., go to the gym). But if you do not study—you can do whatever you want (e.g., go to the gym) but you cannot live here.” If you can’t live at home for free, I assume you will have to take whatever job you can get. Maybe you will love that job, but maybe you will hate it. But you will not have a lot of discretionary spending if you have to pay for food and rent. (Assuming you are not independently wealthy). So, your Mom might not kick you out. If you can have free lodging living with your Mom for 10 years, say—that is already a huge incentive NOT to leave home. And if you can get away with free food and doing whatever you want—you can blow 100% of cash from whatever job on discretionary spending. Buy a cool car, party, and do whatever you want. Even if she does not kick you out, if she effectively enforced no gym in some other way, you might regret that lack of exercise enough to outweigh the benefits of it going to university. Also, if you test your Mom, and disobey her rules, that deviance might undermine your personal relationship with her, depending on your relationship with her A lot of people make a lot of money without going to university. And a lot of people get a good education without paying for degrees. University is not a guarantee of a good job University can also be enjoyable and satisfying, in its own weird way. In any case, formal and demanding programs—whether education, work, travel, or even socialization—can give a nice sense of accomplishment and not wasting years of life (in retrospect) because of the intentionality of the program. Good luck!
  7. Sometimes a person does what they don’t want to do, or does not do what they want to do. So, our actions define our values but sometimes there is a dissonance between personalities or perspectives inside of a person: ‘Part of me thinks this, but another part thinks that.’ One medieval western view on values was looking for an intersection between reason and emotions—or “passions,” as some people called them. For example, a person could be very rational and avoiding extremes in their actions without passionately desiring balance. A person might act continently without internalizing virtue. Nevertheless, some of these thinkers emphasized reason and distinctions, in defining values, in a very conclusive style and without much observation or openness to cultural differences, for example. They would make a bald assertion like, ‘sex outside of an [i.e., monogamous] marriage is irrational because it fails to accord with the fully self-giving nature of the act,’ and leave the matter at that. Sure, that argument seems rational—but the claim of un-naturalness seems to include some circular reasoning. So ‘part of me’ (i.e., an act of my intellect) decides to believe authoritative doctrines and arguments (or perhaps they are post hoc justifications of unwillingness to “let” others enjoy their lives) but ‘part of me’ remains unsatisfied with whole-hearted adherence to guidance. Time is a big factor in values. Running out of time to experience a pleasure, for example, could lead a person into a situation where they are more likely to do one thing rather than another. Turning to more mundane examples, a person’s environment also shapes their values. For example, one person might like watching sports and not particularly care for blue cheese. Another person might find sports basically uninteresting, but claim she lives blue cheese. Perhaps these people had different social contexts for exposure—the sports fan had early friends through sports, and they had a lot of fun with people watching sports. Now they love watching sports! Similarly, perhaps the cheese lover first tasted blue cheese at a blue cheese tasting with a group of admirable people, and now the person loves blue cheese. However, the ongoing practice of watching sports might expose a person to certain friends and conversations—plus the cultic repetition of certain songs at sports games—and all these things may influence a persons values to greater or lesser degrees. I tend to think that socialization and environmental factors in a person’s exposure to activities and attitudes has a significant effect on a person’s activities and values, so I am a bit of a cultural relativist in that regard. I don’t know if beliefs make choices easier. I think that beliefs can provide certain motivations of diligence and consistence—come hell or high water. And there is a lot to be said for the concept of habit. Habits can create an inner space for freedom of mind, creativity, and extreme satisfaction. For example, the habit of exercise can give a person time to think about things and contextualize them, as well as develop in achievement. The interiorization of values seems to be a different story, when it comes to beliefs. That interiorization pertains more to emotion than reason. A person can believe in certain values and live these values out (more or less hypocritically) and yet feel unsatisfied, resentful, bitter, regretful, envious, judgmental, and self-judgmental. Certain fundamental attitudes like compassion for others seem to require a high degree of flexibility in beliefs, to say the least. That is about the end of my musing for now. Though, isn’t it strange that God’s existence does not seem to be self evident? I mean sure—God’s existence is self-evident but we observe recurring doubts in people’s beliefs. I suppose that even proclaimed atheists might sometimes doubt their belief that God does not exist. I just think it’s interesting that God should create such a perspective that His existence should not be observed.
  8. Passion for your business. necessity to do something different. [peace] with having done a business enjoyment with working again. are depressed. might like your work. Do you mean that you are currently working with your own business and you might/might not like your current business? However, you are passionate about your business. Sorry if I’m not listening from your perspective, but I feel like asking: In other words, you hate your business and you are NOT passionate about your business. You really want to take a job. You are worried that you are losing your belief in your goods/services. But, follow the money, baby! Perhaps I misinterpreted your statements. Personally, my business—and my CAREER failed during Covid. I found a new opportunity by looking on Instagram for COOL-LOOKING Resumes. I have no doubt that an HR person selected my resume ONLY because it looked aesthetically pleasing (but the company hired me because I ran a business). Good luck and God bless. May you never know desperation and may your paths be straight.
  9. Location of residence significantly impacts the calculus of home ownership because residential property ownership is an investment. The global environment contextualizes a local decision. Of course there are other criterion, like living near family. First, consider the local housing economy. Is the local property growing over the next 50 years? In Canada, you can refer to the Economic Conference of Canada, for example, to get basic information about a city’s prospect of growth over the next 50 years (a ECC report costs about $1000.00 but is free for many university students). For example, Vancouver, Canada has nowhere to grow and houses are extremely expensive. Buying a home in Vancouver is high risk, and a residential property in Vancouver might well be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars less in a decade than it is today. By contrast, a residence in an area likely to develop will probably be worth more than its value plus inflation in the future. Next, compare the total financial advantage of ownership versus rental and an alternate investment. You can use a spreadsheet. Create a spreadsheet listing the accumulation of property (a) buying, and (b) renting. Get information about your eligibility for a mortgage at a given price point from a bank or mortgage institution; and get advice about investment from a trusted advisor at a reputable investment agency (NOT a bank). E.g., “No guarantees, but this portfolio gained an average of 12% over the last 8 years,’ or whatever. There might be other factors like first time buyers tax deductions, but whatever—do your best. Under (a) renting, list the months of principal payments and interest payments per month. You can easily see your principal accumulation of equity (principal payments) over time. You might also be able to estimate the future value of your property compared to inflation, depending on your info. Under area (b), you can calculate you financial prospects by renting. Enter the cost of rent for your (similar or different) property. With the difference in the cost between renting and buying, you invest that money (I.e., the down payment plus the difference between rent and mortgage (assuming rent is cheaper than mortgage)) and invest that money with a REPUTABLE global investment agent. Then you can forecast your balance renting versus buying over time. The answer for “buy of rent?” is not black and white for everyone everywhere. the financial advantage depends on your location and rate opportunities.
  10. Does each stage experience drugs differently? The question is closed-ended. The answer is either 'yes' or 'no.' However, I will take some liberty and take the question where it leads me. What I call them I prefer the name "hallucinogen" because a predominant effect of these substances, in my experience, is comprehensively thinking through thoughts. Etymologically, the word 'hallucination' means rumination, rather than the meaning the DSM picked up of experiencing something not there. Hallucinogens' predominant effects (for me), especially at high doses, involve accessing distant memories and maintaining a thread of thought for an unusually long time. Physiological and Situational Responses to Drugs I don't have a lot to say about the effects of drugs on people of different physiological makeups or the relationship between physiological differences and stages of psychological development. I think a neuroscientist was comparing the effects of MDMA in terms of post-orgasmic physiological states when Joe Rogan joked, 'Well, I don't know what kind of orgasms you are having [if they are almost as good as MDMA].' But on the other hand, people often describe MDMA psychotherapy for PTSD, for example, as a challenging experience with many tears. Psychedelic and quasi-psychedelic drugs can be very pleasurable, very uncomfortable or both—such as tears of laughter followed by hours of intense abdominal pain. Spiral Dynamics in General The central theory of Spiral Dynamics Integral is not about colours but a hypothesis that a person's environment affects their instincts; a person's instincts affect both their experience of perceptions of value. People value things in different ways and for various reasons. Take a simple example: a woman who cherishes a piece of traditional family land because her father shed his blood protecting it from outsiders. Meanwhile, another person might value that same parcel of land for a very different reason. Likewise, almost everyone believes in this imaginary concept called money—but people think about money differently and spend it on various things. For example, one person might spend her dollar on drugs, but another person might spend his dollar imprisoning people who have drugs. Spiral Dynamics Integral points out that our environment affects both priorities or the content of a person's values and the way a person thinks. For example, a person in a beige state—chronically lacking food, water, or shelter—perceives space in greater detail than a person with abundant subsistence resources. For example, a person in need sees blues, browns and silvers relatively more vividly. Now, Nietzsche challenges the view that the instinct toward survival is fundamental. Instead, he suggests that the will to strength is more basic than the drive toward existence. All living things do not tend toward being but toward the will to strength. This questioning of assumptions helped me review my interpretation of Spiral Dynamics Integral. Whatever our fundamental instinct might or might not be (and whatever resources or opportunities for adaptation might be available), environmental factors influence a person's priorities, ways of thinking, and perception experiences (of being a perceiver). The thesis of spiral dynamics should appear less incredible to a person who has taken drugs--especially hallucinogens. Hallucinogens alter a person's perception of reality, so there is little reason to rule out the possibility that a person's needs, desires, or perhaps will to strength could change their perception of reality solely because "perceptions cannot change." Blue Value Memes Blue value memes prioritize categorical principles, like the rule of law. The law must apply to all (the great and the small alike). Such categories provide stability. Ideas like bundles of property rights and national borders allow for higher virtues like generosity. 'There could be no exercise of generosity without contexts like property in resources.' Property is worth fighting and dying—not because of property, per se, but because of love. The use of categories and principles tends to be a very blue way of thinking. Assumptions about authority underlie the a priori synthetic capacity to recognize truth. For example, 'I heard that 'good drugs' are good [in moderation] and ‘bad drugs’ are bad. I can recognize the truth. Therefore, I will damn myself if I take drugs.’ Blue and Drugs: Social Dogmas about "Good Drugs" and "Bad Drugs" The needs of the species, rationality and subsistence dominate blue thought, and these communal needs inform blue perceptions, values, and thought. For example, a person expressing blue value memes might find the following argument compelling–both intellectually and emotionally: Human beings have a rational faculty, and the perfection of our species’ existence means actualization in rationality. Inhibiting actualization (i.e., rational existence) misses the mark of being human. Drugs inhibit rational thought and action. Therefore, intoxication with drugs always misses the mark of acting in a fully human way. Again, authority is a foundation of the blue recognition of the truth. For centuries, many Islamic teachers permitted the use of cannabis and hashish but frowned on alcohol. Meanwhile, on June 29, 1620, Licenciado D. Pedro Nabarre de Isla anathematized Peyote, emphasizing Satan's power to delude people into superstitious beliefs in the mechanical (and deceptive) foretelling of future events. Many blue-minded individuals condemn methamphetamine, for example, as being more toxic or physiologically habituating than alcohol. A blue-minded person says, 'Well, I heard that crystal meth is bad, m-kay? After all, we can’t all be psychotic meth-heads breaking and entering into the homes of law-abiding citizens.’ Authority provides stable structures for categories of subsistence, intelligence, and reproduction. "Bad Drugs" Alter Blue Categories Along come drugs and challenge a person's assumption that categories even apply to reality. This alternate perspective challenges perceptual integrity. A person's ability to recognize the truth appears far more tenuous and hypothetical than previously assumed. Drugs threaten stable health, and intellectual development—and for goodness’ sake, “WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?” A blue value meme's aversion to drugs makes good sense. Blue value memes promote categorical and principled thought. However, psychoactive drugs (especially hallucinogens) can open the possibility of thinking that logical categories might not apply to reality at all. Here is an example of a blue person tripping on blue mushrooms, thinking, "Go and kill people for my "country"? You have got to be kidding! Hah hah hah hah! I can't stop laughing. I have never heard a more stupid idea in my life. Why would I die for an imaginary idea? Oh, water is coming out of my face because patriotism is so stupid." You have to be insane to believe that a country is real. Imagine those soldiers walking around on some line, not letting people in or out. Hah hah hah! But wait—the military—oh no! My house. My family. My food. They are probably outside my home now, shelling at my house! NO! They are coming! [person vomits]." Everyone values resources—whether for survival or some other reason. But the person in the above example is perplexed about social doctrines of property in resources, love for family, and an experience that such categories might serve their interests. Little wonder this person has a terrifying mushroom experience.
  11. One thing that has helped me is, ‘drink beer and eat extra yummy food every Sunday. Celebrate on Sundays.’ You talk about the “bottom,” as if there were an edifice of life you might build—virtues, relationships, prosperity, and all that good stuff. Maybe start something easy but proven by thousands of years: There is an old tradition called the “week.” The idea is a 7-day cycle, with one day a week of rest, joy, celebration, and family. So make an effort, one set day a week, to live large—eat, drink, and be merry. ”Yay, today is Sunday!”
  12. Yeah @KoryKat, build rapport and gently test any feedback. The point about rapport (e.g., friendly small talk, or expressions of empathy) can support collaborative decision-making. Great advice is often a kind of collaboration. The person receiving the advice makes significant decisions, and the person who provides advice gives information, suggestions, or assistance along the way. Who is the “advice” about? Of course, advice may be some kind of exchange—but upon whom is the advice really centred? Let’s take the example of giving advice about possible options. I might know more about possible options in a given situation than the person I am advising—but that person is probably an expert on his/her facts. So, I can say, ‘You could do. X, Y, or Z;’ but advice centred on the person receiving advice might involve exploring other options. An ultimatum like, ‘invest in Bitcoin with me, or get lost,’ is probably not great advice. As the old saying goes, “Don’t ask a seller about buying.” Lol. Another aspect of advice is criteria. How does a person decide what decision to take? Usually, perceptions of values are based on personal circumstances. So, I might propose values to consider (in giving advice), but the traditional advice is, ‘Advise on values through example, and then give only requested explanations.’ The great advisor listens to people’s motivations. For example, I was chit-chatting with someone about my life-hopes, and he bluntly said, ‘Hope is stupid wishful thinking. You should have goals and objectives—not hope.’ I was like, ‘Okay, I can see how you might interpret the word hope.’ Telling someone that their values are stupid is probably not a great way to give advice. Then there is advice about practical steps to achieve decisions based on values. Here is where advisors can really shine! If the person receiving advice participated in exploring possible options, and discussed how their values lead them to a specific decision, then how-to advice or assistance may find a grateful ear.
  13. I see a couple aspects in the word, ‘gift.’ First, this word suggests a sense of given-ness; and second, the word, ‘gift’ commonly implies a desirability. Your question challenges the desirability of life—but maybe you’re also impugning the analogous desirability of the Giver-of-Life [Whom life as “gift” implies]. All I can say is that I have 2 kids. For better or worse, at least in 2 moments, I decided that life was good enough to perpetuate.
  14. I would reiterate @Kamo‘s point, that bodybuilding is a survival strategy. For some people, bodybuilding is one path to self-respect. Bodybuilding provides a primal knowledge that “I am strong. I look fantastic because I earned it.” Self-respect [and a bit of an ego] promotes survival in some situations. Self-respect also provides a foundation for the virtues (like fortitude and courage); and these virtues are the “raw material” for graceful habits like hope. Foundations do not always have to be strong. If a person is already floating in a community that deeply assumes respect for life—norms of caring for each other’s feelings, available healthcare, broad and deep care for vulnerable people, and so on, then maybe (maybe) there is little need for a person to develop their self-respect. Even a twig can float on a lake of esteem. However, when a person faces hostile situations like bullying or harassment, then the mental requirements of transforming one’s body, and the new body itself, provide core advantages. I'll cite Dwayne Johnson's imposing character and Zac Effron's chiseled abs--not meaning to exclude any number of stunning women. Maybe you already respect yourself enough, and you don't need to bodybuild, or take any other path toward self respect. Maybe a 'god bod' is not worth the negative feelings you feel right now. Your subtext suggests that you don't want to continue bodybuilding. Many people try weights, food, and rest for a little while, then decide against bodybuilding. Nothing is wrong with not bodybuilding. A person answers to their own aspirations. Note, however, that it takes about 10 years of intense work to fully develop an adult body. It sounds like you are giving bodybuilding a fair shot because you did not say, ‘My body prevented me from reaching those grapes, but those grapes were probably sour anyway.’
  15. I'm sorry to hear about you excruciating back pain--not being able to move around without causing injury sounds horrible. I had some upper rib pain before, and I could hardly breathe. Don't lose hope!!! 1. I concur with Michael569 on the Topical Chinese medicine. When I had severe upper rib back pain, I splurged on an expensive bottle of ointment at a medicine store in my local China Town, and that medicine gave me significant relief. I don't know much about bone calcification, but good luck with your scans! 2. I had an intense lower back pain that almost debilitated me for 6 months, and hurt badly for 8 months. This lower back pain is likely irrelevant to your upper rib pain except that the resolution of my pain demonstrates a counterintuitive phenomenon in the world of pain: referred pain. In my case, my 8 months of shooting lower-back pain disappeared all in one day! I found out that my shooting lower-back pain might be referred pain from medial glute atrophy. I did some strengthening exercises for my medial glute--no joke, the back pain disappeared immediately, after 8 months continuous pain. Referred pain might be irrelevant to your upper rib. Still, the possibility deserves mention, because an obstacle to resolving referred pain is not obvious.* 3. For the more exploratory type of person, multiple sources indicate that two peptides, in particular, are excellent for healing many kinds of injuries (if the back pain is from an injury): - BPC157 (injected near or in the injury area), and - TB500 (inject anywhere, even subcutaneously in fat). Note that although TB500 is an anti-inflammatory, it purportedly does not interfere with some important inflammatory processes involved in healing (unlike NSAIDs). 4. Finally, I hesitate to mention Nandrolone because taking Nandrolone is a serious decision. However, back pain is also a serious matter for some people. Nandrolone is a much-loved** and much-hated*** male sex hormone created, I understand, from a female sex hormone. Disclaimer: Understand possible genital changes, possible changes in sexual function, and the the likely requirement of injecting sex hormones for the rest of your life, if you take Nandrolone even once. These are just some of the things to consider with Nandrolone--so research Nandrolone well before even thinking about trying it. Despite its minimal joint healing properties, many people find that Nandrolone significantly reduces or eliminates all kinds of joint pains, both in the short and long-term. For example, cracking arthritic joints are filled with a watery cushion, and can often feel like powerful rubber bands, free of pain and dysfunction. ---- * Tunnel carpel pain in the wrists from the back of the shoulders is another common example of referred pain. ** For example, Dr Edward Lichton prescribes Nandrolone for severe Chrones disease patients (e.g., post bowel-removal), and studies often miraculous recoveries at a molecular level, at a lab in Ontario, Canada. *** Note that, in some countries, it is a criminal offence to possess Nandrolone for personal use (not Canada). So, not only do some people personally dislike Nandrolone, but some governmental executives literally hunt people down and lock them in prison for having this stuff.